Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen @ Serangoon Garden

Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen has their very own dreams and legacy to leave behind in the Food Industry.

This is a Story about Chef Tan-san:


Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen holds a taste almost 40 years in the making. It is a place focused on
quality of ingredients, consistency of food and warmth of service. Hajime is a place where the
enduring philosophy that the customer comes first will live long and well. When Chef Tan-san dishes out his Tonkatsu to diners at Hajime, it is with the knowledge that they
are about to taste something over 40 years in the making.

Chef Tan’s earliest culinary work revolved around Western Food, with a focus on learning the art of
butchering and handling meat. This skill took him to an international hotel across the globe. Chef Tan’s culinary adventures soon brought him to Japan. 25 years ago, the idea of a Singaporean chef training in Japan to master the art of Tonkatsu was unheard of. He eventually completed his training and came back to Singapore in the 90s to helm the kitchen of the very first Tonkichi, making him the Nation’s First Tonkatsu Chef.
In addition, Chef Tan took up a further challenge which is helming the kitchen of the first Tampopo restaurant, building it from ground up. In his tenure as Pioneer Chef of Tampopo, he invented numerous famous dishes, like the now-popular Tonkatsu Ramen and Kurobuta Tonkatsu. 

With years of experience and innovation,  Chef Tan have dreams and desire to start his very own restaurant, a
dream he had harboured for years. The fates conspired to bring his dream to fruition when Chef
Tan’s Son-in-Law, tasted Chef Tan’s own Tonkatsu for the first time. The two men decided to join forces to bring Chef Tan’s dream to life. The both conceptualize and source for a venue with the aim of bringing authentic Japanese Cuisine at affordable prices so that everyone can enjoy it. And there goes, they're now located at a Beautiful mall at Serangoon Garden!

Besides listen to stories that touch my heart, I've also invited Blogger Isabelle to eat this meal with me at Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen. First, we were served with Tori Karaage.

"Specially selected part of chicken thigh meat is used and cut into bite-sized chunks to absorb the secret sauce concoction well after hours of marination. Fried only upon order, the highlight will be the tenderness of this flavourful crispy chicken chunks. "
Tori Karaage is juicy with fats, suitable for foodie who really love fats in the meat. As well as fried food without it being too super oily.

The second dish that comes along is Potato Korokke.

"Made to order, our Potato Korokke is only breaded and fried upon order. Made from scratch, the potato is mashed fresh daily and mixed with Japanese Pork bits (seasoned and cooked separately) which brings a fragrant taste when you bite into it. "
As mentioned Potato Korokke is fried upon order, it is soft and crispy when it's served. My favourite part of this dish is the chewing sensation is so good it doesn't feel like it's Potato. It is also double sofy & crispy on the internal yet not too oily.

My favourite Food Presentation of the night from Hajime is definitely Ebi Fry Ramen! It is also a very unique dish, the soup base is definitely a delicacy thoughtfully made by Hajime. Who says Seafood & meat can't go well together? Hajime proves it to you it can taste really awesome with this fusion of both. The taste brings out mild salt taste with a great amount of sweetness in it. The Ebi served were crispy on the inner and outer layer as well as soft on the inside.

"Hajime's Tonkotsu Base Broth is simmered in-house for 12 hours and infused with a secret Sakura Ebi Paste made in-house for the extra oomph. No added MSG and all natural goodness. Hajime use Nama Noodles which is produced by a Japanese Company using Japan Flour right here in Singapore to ensure the freshness. The Ebi Fry is not pre-breaded but only breaded and fried upon order. Fresh bread crumbs are used for the extra crunchiness. Tasted exceptionally well with our home-made tartar sauce. Our Loin Rib Chashu is also marinated in-house using a special recipe sauce. Special cut of the Japanese Pork Loin is sourced by Chef Tan-San to bring a flavorful taste to the dish Topped off with Menma (Bamboo shoots) imported from Japan, Moyashi (Bean Sprout), Greens, dash of Japanese La-Yu (chilli oil) & a generous sprinkle of crispy Sakura Ebi."

Thoughtfully, almost everything served is made upon order as well as handmade from scratch. 
Next is, Nagoya Miso Fillet.

"Highlight will be the Miso which we curated from Nagoya, Japan. Recipe is bolstered with Red wine & Tonkotsu Broth. Our fillet is done just right with a touch of pink in the middle, thus ensuring the tenderness by not over-cooking it. The Set comes with the Rice, Soup, pickles, watermlon & roasted sesame with Goma bowl similar to the Premium Pork Loin. (Free Flow Rice & Cabbage) "


Premium Pork Loin is also Hajime's very own Hotseller in their restaurant.

"This Japanese Air Flown Sangenton Pork is chosen for its juiciness & tenderness. This premium cut is highly sought after for its great balance of fat & marbling. Each piece of loin is tenderised and breaded upon customer’s order. To bring out the freshness & quality of the pork, there is no pre-seasoning or marination done. We use fresh bread crumbs to give it a long lasting crunch. Special Technique is in place to drain off the oil from all Katsu as much as possible to rid the greasiness. We use rice from Niigata, famed for growing in pristine waters from melting snow. This particular brand is milled locally to lock in the freshness. This rice is then paired with pickles are made in-house for an appetising palate opener. Tonjiru Soup is prepared using Tonkotsu Broth (simmered for 12 hours), with Japanese Pork, carrots, radish, burdock roots, konnyaku (japanese yam jelly) and a hint of Yuzu. For the Goma (Sesame) Seeds, we roasted them to fragrance thus after grinding (using the Goma stick & bowl) and coupled with Tonkatsu Sauce, it brings a new level of flavour as dipping for the Katsu. There is a dab of mustard provided as well which adds a zing to the taste. Our crunchy cabbage is freshly sliced and washed multiple times with ice water to rid the raw taste. This cool, thinly sliced cabbage goes best with Tonkatsu. Unlike most Tonkatsu shops, we use Wafu dressing instead of Goma dressing. It is lighter tasting, healthier & more refreshing. This provides balance to the fried Katsu and ensures that your your taste buds are not overwhelmed. To end the meal, we have the juicy water melon which gives a soothing effect for a wholesome meal."



Premium Japan Food at very affordable price is also Chef Tan's philosophy. Now you get to eat good food with very affordable pricing, in addition free flow of Rice & Cabbage for big eater or vegetables / salad lovers. Made with love with Hajime's very own handmade sauce!

Our Overall Experience & Review for Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen:

TASTE  



ATMOSPHERE 


SERVICE 


  

PRICES
Tori Karaage - S$5.50/-
Potato Korokke - S$4.50/-
Premium Pork Loin - S$21.90/-
Nagoya Miso Fillet - S$19.50/-
Ebi Fry Ramen - S$16.90/-
No Service Charge
FREE flow Rice & Cabbage for dishes that comes with both. 

LOCATION
myVillage @ Serangoon Gardens,
1 Maju Avenue, #02-07/8/9,
Singapore 556679

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday: 11:30am to 3pm, 6 to 10pm
Sat, Sun & PH: 11:30am to 3pm5 to 10pm 

Photo with Chef Tan-San and Blogger Olivia
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